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Candy Desserts

St. Patrick’s Day Candy Recipe Creations!

About a month ago we posted St. Patrick’s Day is But a Month Away, which featured 3 yummy recipes to try for the luckiest holiday in all the land. Now that St. Patrick’s Day is but a few days away, we’ve set out on an adventure to find even more tempting creations! And, it would appear luck was on our side once again. Whether you have a few friends stopping by, or you’re planning the party of the year, here are 2 more St. Patrick’s Day desserts to consider, each packed with their fair share of candy…

Image courtesy of Spoonful.com

Rainbow Cupcakes: When we first saw this colorful cupcake we couldn’t put our fingers on what the rainbow was made of. We’ve been in the candy business for many, many years, and we’re pretty good at picking out sweets even if they’ve been modified in some way. Well, imagine our pleasure and surprise when we read the ingredients and realized it’s an Airheads rainbow! You’ll need Airheads in a few different rainbow colors, and gold chocolate coins for the end of the rainbow as well. While making Airheads rainbows seems as though it could be a bit tricky, the ease of the rest of the recipe definitely makes up for it.

Image courtesy of weheartit.com

Skittles and Rolos Treat Bags: Aren’t really up for baking, but still want St. Patrick’s Day treats that make a splash? These couldn’t be cuter or easier! Simply purchase cellophane candy bags and fill the bottom with gold. Or, you know, gold foil-wrapped Rolos! Gold chocolate coins could work as well, or just about any candy in a golden wrapper. Next, layer on the Skittles by color, keeping Roy G. Biv in mind! Secure it at the top and try not to jostle them around too much. You want to be sure your Skittles don’t have an opportunity to get mixed up in the bag.

Want even more, you say? Check out these Pins!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/205547170463026895/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/449234131552503686/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/541909767634317363/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/224124518930365011/

St. Patrick’s Day is But a Month Away!

Our candy bowls are still happily full of Valentine’s Day lollipops and Conversation Hearts, but the red and pink sweets won’t last forever! And with that in mind we’ve been poking around the internet hoping for the Luck of the Irish in finding the best St. Patrick’s Day candy recipes. Let’s just say we struck gold! Here are just a few of the yummy treats we came across, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day parties, or just mixing up for family and friends…

Image courtesy of TheYummyLife.com

Green Popcorn & Pretzel Party Mix: There are few things luckier than stumbling across a party-worthy recipe that looks great, is full of ingredients that almost everyone loves, and is super simple to make. But that’s just what happened when we found the Green Popcorn & Pretzel Party Mix recipe at The Yummy Life! This sweet and salty snack could be your ‘big treat’, taking center stage with its mix of chocolate chips, pretzels, popcorn, green M&M’s and more. Want to make it a bit minty? Consider using Mint Dark Chocolate M&M’s!

Image courtesy of Spoonful.com

Shamrock Cupcakes: These simple but striking cupcakes make an especially wonderful treat for those whose candy tastes lean a bit toward the nostalgic side. While gum drops and Spearmint Leaves aren’t as popular with youngsters as they are with more mature candy fans, youngsters aren’t the only ones eating cupcakes! Perhaps you have to grow up on Spearmint Leaves and Orange Slices to understand how oh-so-good they really are. Lucky for me, I did!

Image courtesy of NotMartha.org

Leprechaun Trap Cake: This is the recipe that had me calling people over to my desk. If I could make mine look half this amazing I’d be thrilled! As if the ladder made from pretzels wasn’t darling enough, the pretzels make another appearance on top of the cake beneath the chocolate coins. What are they doing there? Oh, just being an important part of the leprechaun trap. As for the cake itself? Well, that just happens to be a rainbow inside. Yep – coolest, luckiest cake ever!

Some More Candy Treats to Tempt Your Valentine!

In our last blog post we highlighted three oh-so-sweet recipes that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. Each incorporated at least one candy favorite to take an already-enticing baked good to the next level. Today, we’re going to add 3 more goodies to that list. We keep finding amazing recipes, and simply have to share them with you! Of course, the more treats the better, so feel free to try your hand at all of them. And if you have any extras and happen to be in the area, we’d be happy to help them disappear!

Image courtesy of the36thavenue.com

Festive White Chocolate Popcorn – It looks as though the author of this recipe actually whipped up this yumminess for Christmas, but we think it looks perfect for Valentine’s Day as well (especially in those ADORABLE striped bowls!) There is nothing in this recipe not to love, and for as eye-catching and pretty as it turns out, it sounds quite achievable even for a kitchen novice. All you’ll need is popcorn, white chocolate chips, marshmallows, butter, corn syrup, and Sixlets. And an appetite for awesome treats. You’ll need that, too!

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Heart Shaped Peeps Valentines – These so sweet Valentines are not only unique and full of delicious delights, they are also so easy to make that you don’t have to ‘make’ them at all. Instead of a recipe, there are simple directions. Simply place a graham cracker or two in a treat bag with a piece of a Hershey’s bar and heart-shaped Peep. You can give your Valentine just one, but they’re sure to want s’more!

Image courtesy of savingcentswithsense.net

Conversation Hearts Rice Krispies Treats – Whether you’re mixing up Valentines for the kiddos, or your special someone never grew out of Rice Krispies treats (who could blame them?), these heart-shaped eats are a perfect snack for sharing the love. This recipe calls on red food coloring to give the hearts a light pink hue, but you could always make several small batches and incorporate blue, green, purple – whatever your ummm… heart desires! Grab a bag of Necco Sweethearts, and you’re done in a flash.

Candy + Baked Goods = Happy Valentine’s Day, Indeed!

It seems like just yesterday that we were eating more Christmas cookies than our pants would comfortably allow, but alas, Christmas was nearly one month ago, and Valentine’s Day is on the horizon! That means that while love is in the air, Valentine’s Day candy is in our warehouse, ready to find its way to you and your taste buds. But rather than simply eat the candy by itself – which, to be honest, is definitely not a bad idea – we set out to find some Valentine’s Day recipes for which candy plays an important part. Here are some of our favorites…

Image courtesy of Traveling Spoon Blog

Cinnamon Imperials Shortbread: May a million blessings come to the woman who dreamed these up! While I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, as a big fan of Cinnamon Imperials and shortbread, I just know they’re going to be fabulous. Honestly, how could they not be? Just look at that beautiful, buttery shortbread! Yum, yum, yum.

Image courtesy of TheBakingRobot.com

Atomic Fireball Cupcakes: Yes. Yes, they did. Yes, they put an Atomic Fireball candy on top of the cupcake like a cherry, and YES, it is the cutest, cleverest thing you’ve ever seen. Seriously, thank goodness for the Internet, because I would never think of these things on my own! And that Atomic Fireball on top is not the only Atomic Fireball in the recipe. These spicy cinnamon cupcakes include Fireball-infused water for extra kick. (note: extra points given for the hilarious writing)

Image courtesy of MyLitter.com

White Chocolate Popcorn & Conversation Hearts: How much do I love white chocolate, popcorn, and Conversation Hearts? Enough that I’m not even sure I can make this one because I fear I won’t stop eating until it’s all gone. And because I fear that no other dessert will ever live up to its awesomeness. And because I fear that – oh, who am I kidding – a life lived in fear is no life at all! I’m making it. And you can bet I’m making a double batch so other people can eat some, too. If they’re quick enough.

Christmas Cookies with Hershey’s Kisses – Santa-worthy Sweets!

A friend once told me that it was scientifically proven that the cutest thing in the world was a baby riding a puppy. That someone – somewhere – had done a cuteness study, and with puppies and babies being the cutest of the cute, the combination tipped the scales for the two to share the cute gold. Now, I don’t know if this is true, but it’s one of those fun ‘facts’ that I’ve heard and like to share, so I almost don’t want to know if it isn’t. Because you know what? I can’t think of anything cuter than that. So at least for me, I already have my scientific evidence!

Where am I going with all this talk of puppies and babies? Believe it or not, it’s my lead-in to talking about cookies and candy! Just as I can’t think of anything cuter than puppies and babies, I can’t think of anything tastier than cookies and candy. And applying the same scientific logic researchers somewhere may have applied to the baby and puppy combination, I’m going to have to say that while candy and cookies are delicious all on their own, they’re even better together.

With that in mind, I’ve sifted through too many delicious recipes to count to bring you some seriously tasty looking cookies with candy in the mix, just in time for Christmas cookie season. Which do you think looks the best? Let us know in the comments! :)

Image courtesy of rachelleunderwood.blogspot.com

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies Combining Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses with sugar, butter, vanilla, and other yummy goodness creates some of the most colorful Christmas cookies I found! These also look fairly easy to make, so I’ll be keeping the recipe handy for those days I want a fresh-baked treat but am not in a baking mood, or am pressed for time.

Image courtesy of hersheys.com

Hershey’s Kisses in the Middle Cookies I am a huge fan of peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses nestled into the top, but while I was searching for the best recipe for those, I found these! In my cookie-eating experience, it is usually the lumpy, bumpy cookies that taste the best, packed with chocolate chips, dried fruit bits, and all manner of yum for my tum. But I would never expect there to be a whole Kiss inside, and if I wasn’t prepared for it, I might just cry happy tears. Right there. At the dessert table. Happy, happy tears!

Image courtesy of cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com

Oatmeal Kiss Cookie S’moresOh my goodness. These Hershey’s Kisses topped cookies stopped me right in my cookie-searching tracks. How delicious do they look? So, so delicious. As someone who can’t control herself around oatmeal cookies – seriously, don’t get in my way! – I already know I’ll have to make a big batch of these if my family and friends hope to get so much as a crumb.

Terrific Ice Cream Toppings: Going Boldly Beyond the Sprinkles!

We hope your freezer is overflowing with frozen fantastic-ness, and your ice cream bowl never empty. We also hope you’re keeping your ice cream as cool as it is cold by experimenting with toppings new and old. Need a little inspiration? We think we might have some extra lying around!

We don’t have any issue whatsoever with typical ice cream toppings, whether you pile on the peanuts or go a little crazy with chocolate sauce. But we do like to mix things up from time to time, foregoing ice cream topping classics for something unexpected and a bit more adventurous. Here’s a few of our favorites – and please share yours in the comments!

Boston Baked Beans – Simply can’t skip the peanuts, but are open to a new take on them? Grab yourself a box of Boston Baked Beans! Those candy coated peanuts we all know and love taste terrific atop a scoop of vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip or coffee ice cream. We’re certain they taste good with other flavors as well, but if we did all the research that wouldn’t be very fair to all of you!

Whoppers Malted Milk Balls – We tried these atop chocolate, vanilla with peanut butter swirl, and chocolate chip cookie dough, and we’re prepared to cast our verdict. According to the very scientific topping research conducted at Blair Candy Headquarters, you cannot go wrong with Whoppers! In fact, these complement ice cream so perfectly that we’re a little let down we haven’t been enjoying them together for years. (Note: Research was not scientific at all; we just ate delicious thing. Happily!)

Raspberry Gummy Pretzels – Not only are these fruity cuties tasty on their own, but they add an extra ‘dash o’ summer’ to any frozen treat they top. We tried them on rainbow sherbet, caramel ice cream, and vanilla frozen yogurt. And if our trials were the SATs, each of those combos would be primed for a seriously good scholarship to Yum University!

Sweet Freedom! Tasty Treats for the 4th of July…Starring Blue Sixlets

Happy Independence Day, everyone! And thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by between burgers grilling and fireworks popping. Since we’re in full 4th swing here as well, we thought this would be the perfect time to share some of our own treat ideas with you, each of which is ideal for Independence Day, but would work all summer long!

Red, White and Blue Berries: We’ve seen strawberries popping up all over Facebook, dipped in white chocolate before getting the sugar treatment with blue candy crystals. Plenty of parents have been posting them as their kiddos helped with their creation, and they really couldn’t be cuter! But we do think there’s something that might taste even better than blue sugar – Blue Sixlets. The combo of chocolate, white chocolate and strawberry is what freedom is all about!

Revolutionary Red Velvet Cupcakes: We aren’t going to lie; there isn’t much you can do to a red velvet cupcake topped with buttercream frosting to make it any better. It’s like the Ryan Gosling of cupcakes – so close to perfection that it isn’t worth the risk of trying to make it any more amazing! But we like to live on the edge – we like to push the envelope on awesome. But only a little! So we’ll be sticking with our favorite recipe for red velvet cupcakes and buttercream frosting, and dropping just a few Blue Sixlets atop each to make it as American as it is delish!

Patriotic Jello Petites: When the summer sun is beating down and temps are climbing into the 90s, many of us look for lighter treats to snack on. And today looks as though it’s shaping up to be quite toasty! This one requires just a few minutes and a few ingredients. You can purchase already-made red Jello packs (strawberry is my fave!), or make your own at home in small glasses or even Dixie cups. Once the Jello is ready, squirt on a little whipped cream and garnish with Blue Sixlets. Easy, economical, and not a ton of calories!

Make Mouthwatering Morsels For Mom

May means Mother’s Day, and the way to this mother’s heart is through chocolate!  As much as I love chocolate, though, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake. But give me some vanilla cupcakes with chocolate accents, and now we’re talking!  I found this Chocolate Chip Cupcake tasty treat that can easily be adapted in all kinds of fun ways to make moms’ mouths’ water.

Instead of chocolate chips, substitute Snocaps! (non-pareils) You’ll still get that bittersweet bite, but with an added sweet surge from the white candy micro-beads as well.

Or, how about some sweet Sixlets, in any color of the rainbow? Take it one step further and add a splash of your mom’s favorite color with food coloring to your batter and/or icing. Imagine pale pink cupcakes with pink Sixlets in the cupcake as well as in [or on top of] the frosting.

You will need: (for an easy alternative, see below *)

> 3 1/4 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)

> 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder

> 1/4 teaspoon salt

> 7 ounce (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

> 1 3/4 cup sugar

> 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

> 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

> 5 large egg whites, room temperature

> 2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Or, use nonpareils or Sixlets)

> Chocolate Chip Icing (Or, use basic vanilla or buttercream icing, and mix in Sixlets or crushed non-pareils in place of chocolate chips)

Directions:

> Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

> Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. In a separate bowl, mix milk and vanilla together. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture, and ending with dry ingredients.

> Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, and fold into batter. Fold in chocolate chips, Sixlets, or crushed non-pareils. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

> Bake cupcakes 22 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. After cooling, frost with icing.  For best results, keep cupcakes in refrigerator until a few minutes before serving.

* If you are in a hurry, hate to bake, and/or are working with children on the project, use a simple white cake boxed cake mix, but add in the non-pareils or Sixlets (and the food coloring, if you choose), and follow the baking directions on the box for cupcakes.

We’re Hopping Happily Over Easter Cupcakes, With Easter Candy On Top!

Easter Candy CupcakesWe just love the fresh feeling of renewal that comes along with the Easter holiday, and we can’t help smiling happily that it’s another candy-coated holiday, too! We’ve been so busy helping the Easter bunny stock up on all his goodies for his Easter morning candy hop that we just seem to have forgotten how hungry we are for an Easter-themed dessert! Easter is tasted best with a bit of indulgence on top, and we searched the Internet over (okay, FoodNetwork.com), for the very best vanilla cupcake and buttercream icing recipe. We of course added our own BlairCandy.com twist to it – complete with Reeses Easter eggs and all ;-)

The Easter Bunny’s Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes

Courtesy of:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html

Yields 24 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • Easter-themed muffin cups
  • 1.5 cups self-rising flour
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extra
  • Gel icing in pastel Easter colors
  • Your favorite Easter candy varieties to top it off!

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. While you’re waiting for the oven to pre-heat, tell the following Easter joke:

Q: How did the eggs leave the highway?

A: They went through the “Eggs-it”!

2. Line two, 12-capacity muffin tins with the Easter-themed muffin cups.

3. Combine the flours in a small bowl.

4. In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the sugar, and beat about three minutes, until it has more of a fluffy consistency – like the Easter Bunny’s tail! Then, add the eggs one at a time, continuing to blend after each is added. Start adding the dry cupcake ingredients, alternating between the milk and vanilla. Beat until well blended.

5. Once blended, use a rubber spatula and spoon to fill the Easter-themed cupcake liners with your batter mixture, so that they’re each about ¾ full.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick in and it comes out clean.

7. While you’re waiting for the cupcakes to finish baking, whip up your Extraordinary Easter Icing!

8. Place the 2 sticks of butter in a large bowl, and then add 4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer on medium and mix until creamy, around 3-5 minutes. Start adding the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the icing is up to par and can be spread easily on the cupcake.

9. Add a few drops of the Easter-themed gel icing to your buttercream mixture. You can even separate the mixture at this point into a few small bowls, and add different Easter-themed gel icing colors to each bowl!

10. Make sure the buttercream is safely guarded from the Easter Bunny, or it’ll be gone in the flash of a hare!

11. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, start icing them. Top them off with your most scrumptious Easter candies – think Mike and Ike Jelly Beans, Reeses Easter Eggs, Cadbury Mini Easter Crème Eggs, oh, the list is endless!

The Easter Bunny is licking his lips over these “egg-celent” Easter Cupcakes, with Easter candy yumminess on top. Our Blair Candy staff is ready to take a little break from stocking our shelves full of bags and bags of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, and is happy to take a bite out of these vanilla cupcakes – before the Easter Bunny hops away with them!

Decadent Dessert Ideas from Taste Of Home!

Photo from TasteOfHome.com

With Halloween now behind us and Thanksgiving on the horizon, my mind has been swimming in savory thoughts of juicy turkey, flavorful stuffing, fluffy mashed potatoes, buttery crescent rolls and my sister’s culinary masterpiece, oh-so-amazing-I-can’t-stop-eating-it zucchini casserole topped with melted cheese. There is little debating that when it comes to ‘food holidays’, Thanksgiving takes the turkey! But did you know Thanksgiving could take the cookie as well? Take the cookie and turn it into a delightful dessert that is fun for the whole family and delicious, too? Well…it can!

As I stood in line at the grocery store over the weekend watching the woman in front of me unload what must have been the 100th can of soup onto the belt, I decided to make the most of my wait and flip through the magazines at the register. I skipped over the tabloids in favor of something more appealing – the brightly-colored little glossy full of Thanksgiving recipe cards, taste of home. While I whole-heartedly recommend you grab a copy for yourself, I should warn you this is not an issue to read while hungry. It is absolutely packed with deliciousness! But beyond the mouthwatering recipes for apple & herb roasted turkey and gingered pumpkin bisque – and mouthwatering they are! – I came across a couple dessert recipes that broke the traditional Thanksgiving mold of pies and muffins. Don’t get me wrong, I love pies and muffins! But these petite treats are much cuter, and include candy, which I’m kinda partial to. ;)

Turkey Pilgrim Cookies – The first candy-covered dessert to catch my eye was the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies. These are almost too cute to eat, but I think if I close my eyes I can manage! The recipe calls for the following ingredients, which should give you some insight into what makes these so good: Oreos, candy corn, miniature peanut butter cups, candy corn kisses, chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting, mini marshmallows, mini Oreos, Rolos and orange food coloring. And the best part, other than all the tasty ingredients, that is? There is absolutely no baking required! The frosting serves as a ‘glue’ of sorts for all the candy and cookie building blocks making these a dessert the little ones that can help put together. As there is no baking required, the kids can create these while you’re cooking to keep them busy, or it can be a fun family project the night before.

Pilgrim Hat Cookies – Just like the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies above there is no baking required for these yummy treats. Ingredients include: vanilla frosting, yellow food coloring, orange mini Chiclets, miniature peanut butter cups and fudge-striped cookies – that’s it! These are even easier to create than the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies, though I have to admit they aren’t quite as cute. What can I say – a dessert with marshmallow eyes wins my top vote! That said, I plan to make both cookie and candy concoctions this season, if not for Thanksgiving itself as a fall-themed snack for anytime. After all, with so much amazingness on Thanksgiving day, and the days full of delish leftovers that follow, I want to give my candy-packed desserts an opportunity to shine.

The Thanksgiving Recipes Cards issue of taste of home is $4.99 and marked for sale through November 22, 2011. Grab your copy the next time you hit the grocery store, and check out more great recipes on TasteOfHome.com today!

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